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Wolves fans flying to Greece despite Olympiacos game being in doubt

Hundreds of Wolves fans were flying out to Athens today despite the Europa League clash with Olympiacos being played behind closed doors due to coronavirus.

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Supporters were left disappointed after the decision was taken by Greek authorities to play the match without any spectators over fears about the spread of the virus.

And now doubts have been raised as to whether the fixture will go ahead at all after Olympiacos players and staff were taken to hospital following the news that club owner Evangelos Marinakis had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Many Wolves fans had already bought tickets and arranged flights and hotels for the latest leg of the club's European adventure and while some have chosen to abandon their trip, others have decided to go anyway.

It means Greek bars are likely to be flooded by supporters trying to find an alternative way of watching the match, should it be played.

More on coronavirus:

Greece has joined Italy in banning large gatherings at sporting events as part of the response to the spread of the virus, while Spain announced games were to be played behind closed doors.

However there is no ban on travel for Wolves fans.

The Foreign Office says visitors to Greece should be aware of the threat of coronavirus but has not advised against travel. More than 80 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Greece.


Chris Hughes, from Quarry Bank, booked flights and accommodation immediately after Wolves were drawn to play Olympiacos.

Dozens of fans said on social media they were still going to Athens.

He faced losing around £300 if he cancelled the trip and insists he has no concerns about coronavirus, particularly as cases are continuing to rise in the UK.

There is also a sense among supporters of a determination to follow their team around Europe to be with them in spirit, even if they can't actually watch them play.

Chris said: "The travel insurance won't pay out so otherwise it's £300 down the drain.

"I missed the Bratislava game because it was behind closed doors. I'd already missed one so it would have been the second one of the season. About 10 of us are due to go out and are staying in the same hotel."

The 34-year-old is mystified by the decision to stop fans attending games when the result will be them cramming into pubs.

He said: "In the stadium it's open air. We're all going to be in a bar touching surfaces and interacting with more people."

He added: "There's a case at Russells Hall Hospital, 10 minutes from my house, a man in Wolverhampton has passed away. It's here."

Sam Doughty, 19, from Shifnal, is also flying out to Athens.

He said: "Obviously I'm not happy with the fact it’s being played behind closed doors, they will put sporting events behind closed doors but let thousands of people still get the tube in even smaller confined areas? Doesn’t make much sense.

"We’re still going to go down to the ground and see whether we can find a way in somehow. I’m not bothered about travelling there and the fact the cases are in the rise, there's more chance of catching it here."

Benjemin Cartwright, 20, from Willenhall, is travelling with his father.

He said: "Obviously it's not ideal this game being played behind closed doors and if we reach the next round the chances are it will be behind closed doors. It could be the end of our European tour.

"I spoke to my dad and he said it's all booked we might as well go. We can't go to the game but we're still going to Athens.

"We're not better of being here than abroad. If we're going to get it we're going to get it."

He added: "If their players test positive there's no way the game is going ahead."

Marinakis, who also owns Championship club Nottingham Forest, revealed he had the virus on social media.

“The recent virus has ‘visited ‘me and I felt obliged to let the public know," he posted.

"I feel good as I take all the necessary measures and I discipline to the doctors’ instructions.

"I strongly advice all my fellow citizens to do the same. I wish all a quick recovery.”

The 52-year-old attended Forest's home game with Millwall last Friday

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